Trump says he would look ‘very, very seriously’ at pardons for Jan 6 defendants if reelected


Former President Trump said on Friday that he would look “very, very seriously” at pardoning those charged in connection with storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, if he ran for and became president again.

Speaking during a Faith and Freedom event in Nashville, Tenn., Trump said the defendants charged in the Capitol riot were “having their lives totally destroyed and being treated worse than terrorists and murderers,” claiming that most had been “charged with parading through the Capitol.”

“And if I become president, someday if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons. Very, very seriously,” he added.

Trump has not yet announced whether he will run for president again in 2024, though he has at times teased the possibility that he will. 

The former president has previously said that if he ran for president again and won, he would “treat those people from Jan. 6 fairly,” including potentially giving pardons to defendants charged in the riot.

One of his close allies, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), signaled after Trump made those earlier comments that he thought the idea of offering pardons to Capitol riot defendants was “inappropriate,” leading the former president to call the South Carolina Republican a “RINO,” or “Republican in name only.”

The former president’s Friday remarks come amid a slate of public hearings this month from the the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. 

During its latest hearing on Thursday, the panel showed evidence that conservative lawyer John Eastman, who advised Trump on a plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election, sought a pardon from the White House following the Jan. 6 attack. 

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